Back Ground

Several years ago I decided to make a career change. I had been roofing in Phoenix AZ for many years and did not feel like I was fulfilling my destiny. I decided to go back to school and become a nurse. And so with my wife Kendra by my side I embarked on a remarkable journey , a journey of changes foreseen and unforeseen. When I began my schooling, nurses in Phoenix were in very high demand, hospital census was high, and sign on bonuses were the norm. Not so when I graduated. So after three months of fruitless searching in AZ, Kendra and I began to research compact states, and decided to apply at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City South Dakota, where I was eventually hired. The result of this hire was the unforeseen change, we had talked of moving to another area after graduation but did not imagine SD would be where we would end up. However, we fell in love with the area on first arrival. The Black hills essentially began right in town, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish, the Badlands, Hot Springs, Sturgis, and Mount Rushmore are all just a few miles away. Also, we are fortunate to have a congregation of 70 in Gillette Wyoming, which is only 150 miles west of us.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This morning when Bailey and I went for a walk around the neighborhood we came across these mule deer, they were in the middle of the housing development. Evidently they have a path they use that circles the yards with dogs. All together there were 8 deer and 1 rabbit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Wednesday January 18, 2012 @ 8:00 p.m our little man was born.
9lbs. 14oz. 20 and 1/4 in. long.
The kids are all super excited to see baby so we will all go to the hospital today. In the meantime we will hold down the fort and let Kendra have peace and quite.
Thanks to Jannelle and Suzie for rushing here on short notice from Gillette, WY, it sure took a load off our shoulders knowing that friends were willing and available to help.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Friday night Jake and Erica arrived in Rapid City for the weekend. We had a lot of fun visiting, shopping, running around town, and just generally hanging out. This was the second time we have had visitors since we moved here Nov. 7th. Coming from Phoenix, we were used to having visitors or going out two or three times a week, so the long stretches of solitude have been a big change. When visitors come now they stay a night or two, which is a totally different experience for my children, (although it brings back fun memories of growing up on the Range when out of town guests stayed the weekend) and the kids love to have friends spend the night. They lay in the dark whispering, then apparently somebody says something funny for they all burst out laughing. Meanwhile the adults are eating snacks, retelling the old stories, and laughing at the memories and joys of times past. We realize how precious these friends are and how important they are to our lives of faith, especially now that we have only sporadic contact. This time here in SD will truly build fond lifetime memories for Kendra, myself, and the kids who are old enough to remember.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Park Day

 Today the temp. soared to 72 degrees. Coming in January this felt like a regular heat wave. As the kids were playing outside anyway, we decided to take full advantage of it and headed to the park.

    Caitlyn loves to play outdoors with her four legged friends. 
She also disappears over this fence and is teaching Morgan to climb it as well.
Nothing but fun and laughter on the merry go round.
This is a huge park with walking trails, picnic tables, BBQ pits, and ample room to play fetch with the dogs.

Monday, January 2, 2012

   Tuesday after Christmas the Kuoppala family from AZ arrived in SD. The house felt comfortable and full of people. Just how we like it. While they were here we did many fun activities including shopping, site-seeing, and much visiting. One of the places we went to is Art Alley in downtown Rapid City.

  Art Alley has some fantastic art under the more recent tagging by the less talented.
   The kid's enjoyed hanging out with friends. Kids always like having overnight company, they lay in the bedroom whispering till late at night. Oh well, that's how memories are made.
   Drew holding Dustyn K. All the kids were infatuated with him, wanting to hold him and give him his nuk whenever he made a peep. The hand in the bottom is Morgan bringing Dustyn his nuk.
     Guests are always welcome and much appreciated.